Healthy lifestyle crucial for telomere health

In an interview to promote her new book, Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of the Nobel Prize for her work on telomeres, describes the small lifestyle changes that can make long-term changes to telomere length, and to healthy lifespan.


Moderate exercise, 45 minutes of walking three times a week is as good as marathon running; stress reduction; meditation; adequate sleep and favouring a whole food diet (oily fish and flaxseed are particularly good) over red meat, sugar and processed foods, improves health and delays the onset of ageing related disorders.


As our doctors come up with improved ways to deal with the worst effects of dyskeratosis congenita, we will need to focus on preventing or delaying secondary problems that can arise from short telomeres. Lifestyle – body and mind – will become ever more important in the battle for health.


The full interview is available on the Guardian website here: